Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
Published by DC Comics
While some readers might look at Leviathan as this unstoppable entity, Bendis has presented a threat that has everyone looking over their shoulder even though no one has seen the mysterious saboteur do anything.
Yes, buildings were atomized and intelligence networks have been destroyed, but no one has seen Leviathan lift a finger besides bark a few orders and give some grandiose speeches.
Bendis deserves a lot of credit for doing so much with so little as related to the titular figure.
How about this for a little mystery, the last issue ended with the beginning of a high-stakes pursuit of Red Hood.
This installment begins with Batman and the assembled detectives in the Fortress of Solitude. It was the last starting point anyone would have imagined as the team licked their wounds. Green Arrow laments on how the team got their butts kicked.
Batman offers a reassuring “He beat YOU ALL” as if he wasn’t part of the losing effort. That sounds kind of petty for someone like Batman to say, however, these are the times we’re living in today.
Alex Maleev’s beautiful action sequences highlight the battle with Red Hood in post. Aerial combat with fun weapons play exuded the desperation of both parties. There is one sequence where Damian drills Red Hood with a UFC style right high kick and Batman follows up with a mean right hook. The panel cuts back to the Fortress right before Red Hood goes into beast mode where Batman begrudgingly admitted he got his butt kicked, too. Maleev also did a great job of with the counterpoint between Hood and Lois Lane. Lois wasn’t sure if Jason/Hood would pull the trigger as much as she didn’t believe he had a reason to do so. Maleev put all the necessary elements on the page while keeping the intensity firmly intact.
Jason Todd’s exploits in his on-going series made him the perfect suspect. It’s a little too clean, but it’s a critical question that needed to be addressed. Bendis’ excels at making the obvious not so evident at just the right moment to deliver maximum impact. Batman, Lois Lane, and company struggled to put what few pieces that have together to determine their next move.
Then, Amanda Waller’s name is dropped, and the complexion of the conversation completely changed. Left became right. Up became down. Then, through all of the shock and confusion, no one could believe they didn’t see it sooner. It was a well-done moment that augmented the narrative.
Event Leviathan has been one giant gift that can’t be unwrapped all at once.
Instead, you start off slowly. First, you remove the bow and cut off the ribbon. Then, you rip away a little bit at a time while trying to guess what’s inside with each tear of the paper. Each guess seems better than the next, but you’re ultimately wrong. The why starts to become more important than the who, as some tidbits about the big bad is revealed. The conclusion tags in some key players, suggesting the next issue will be the most informative to date.